Flour, Raw Dough, and Raw Batter
Flour Safety Basics
- Do not eat or play with flour, raw dough , or raw batter that is intended to be cooked.
- Do not use flour in items that are not intended to be cooked.
- If you or someone you are cooking for has a food allergy, carefully check the labels of any flour or baking mixes you plan to use.
People often understand that it is dangerous to eat raw eggs because of the risk of Salmonella, but eggs aren’t the only potential carrier of foodborne illness in raw dough or batter. Raw flour may be contaminated with harmful bacteria such as E. coli.
Flour can be made from a variety of grains, nuts, and legumes including wheat, soy, tree nuts, and peanuts, all four of which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration classifies as major food allergens. Manufacturers are legally required to list ingredients and clearly identify any major allergens (or their protein derivatives) on the labels of food products.
Cooking with Flour
Throw out recalled products
- Although CDC closed its investigation into the E. coli outbreak, continued illness from recalled products is expected due to the long shelf life of flour and baking mixes.
- Check CDC’s recall page that lists all affected products. Throw out any flour or baking mixes on the recall list.
- If you stored recalled flour in a reusable container, be sure to thoroughly wash and sanitize the container before using it again.
- If you are unsure if the flour is included in the recall, throw out the product.
Separate flour, raw dough, or raw batter
- Keep raw foods, including any flour products, separate from other foods while preparing them to prevent cross-contamination before cooking.
- Use separate bowls, measuring cups, and utensils for flour, raw dough, and raw batter.
Bake it before you bite it
- Do not eat or play with flour, raw dough, or raw batter.
- Do not add flour to foods that will not be cooked, such as milkshakes, ice-cream mixes.
- Do not taste flour, raw dough, or raw batter. Eating even a small amount can make you sick.
- Bake/cook items containing flour, raw dough, or raw batter thoroughly before eating them, including flour used for thickening.
- Follow package directions on mixes for proper cooking temperatures and times.
Keep it cool and clean
- Refrigerate baked goods containing fillings (such as cream) promptly after making or purchasing them to prevent illness-causing bacteria from growing.
- Wash any bowls, utensils, and other surfaces that were used when baking with hot water and soap. The surfaces to be cleaned may extend beyond the immediate work area, because flour is powdery and tends to spread.
- Wash your hands with water and soap after baking.